Skip to Content
Home > Patients & Visitors > Health Library > Breastfeeding: Sore Nipples
breastfeeding is a sign of a problem and should not
be ignored. Although sore or tender nipples are common during the first few
days of breastfeeding, it should improve. Normal soreness or pain usually
occurs for about a minute when the baby first latches on to the breast. Pain
that is severe or continuous or that occurs again after it seemed to resolve is
a sign of a problem and should be corrected. Other problems may include
cracked, bleeding, or bruised nipples.
Sometimes sore nipples
develop when the baby begins to suck harder because he or she is not getting
milk quickly. This often is caused by:
Sore nipples and breasts may also result from:
Be sure to contact your doctor or a lactation consultant if you continue to have sore, red nipples after trying home treatment for a day or two.
If your nipples are cracked or bleeding, it's okay to continue breastfeeding your baby. To help relieve your discomfort, use the care tips given above. Call your doctor or a lactation consultant if you find it too painful to breastfeed or if you've tried home treatment for 24 hours and it doesn't help.
Watch for signs of infection, such as a fever, flu-like symptoms, or a painful area on the breast that may be reddened, warm to the touch, or both.
Call your doctor now if you have:
Call your doctor today if you have:
Other Works Consulted
American Academy of Pediatrics and American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (2012). Care of the newborn. In Guidelines for Perinatal Care, 7th ed. pp. 265–319. Elk Grove, IL: American Academy of Pediatrics.
Lawrence RM, Lawrence RA (2009). The breast and physiology of lactation. In RK Creasy et al., eds., Creasy and Resnik's Maternal-Fetal Medicine, 6th ed., pp. 125–142. Philadelphia: Saunders Elsevier.
Pessel C, Tsai MC (2013). The normal puerperium. In AH DeCherney et al., eds., Current Diagnosis and Treatment Obstetrics and Gynecology, 11th ed., pp. 190–213. New York: McGraw-Hill.
ByHealthwise StaffPrimary Medical ReviewerSarah Marshall, MD - Family MedicineKathleen Romito, MD - Family MedicineAdam Husney, MD - Family MedicineSpecialist Medical ReviewerMary Robbins, RNC, IBCLC - Lactation Consultant
Current as ofMay 30, 2016
Current as of:
May 30, 2016
Sarah Marshall, MD - Family Medicine & Kathleen Romito, MD - Family Medicine & Adam Husney, MD - Family Medicine & Mary Robbins, RNC, IBCLC - Lactation Consultant
To learn more about Healthwise, visit Healthwise.org.
© 1995-2016 Healthwise, Incorporated. Healthwise, Healthwise for every health decision, and the Healthwise logo are trademarks of Healthwise, Incorporated.
Feeling under the weather?
Use our interactive symptom checker to evaluate your symptoms and determine appropriate action or treatment.
Our interactive Decision Points guide you through making key health decisions by combining medical information with your personal information.
You'll find Decision Points to help you answer questions about:
Get started learning more about your health!
Our Interactive Tools can help you make smart decisions for a healthier life. You'll find personal calculators and tools for health and fitness, lifestyle checkups, and pregnancy.
Send Us Your Feedback
North Kansas City Hospital